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Turns out the Disney store's departure from Fifth Avenue is only one of some major changes planned for the brand. Having come to terms with the inevitable truth that, as one Disney head put it, "the world does not need another place to sell Disney merchandise," the company has decided to revamp their shops into "an experience" under the auspices of Apple chief and Disney board member Steve Jobs. Like Apple stores nationwide, the new Disney shops will be highly interactive. Explains the Times:
Theaters will allow children to watch film clips of their own selection, participate in karaoke contests or chat live with Disney Channel stars via satellite. Computer chips embedded in packaging will activate hidden features. Walk by a "magic mirror" while holding a Princess tiara, for instance, and Cinderella might appear and say something to you.
In addition to thrilling children, the new stores will appeal to parents with Apple-style conveniences like sales-floor checkout guns. (Salespeople will also be able to control some of the technology with their iPhones—synergy!) Disney's been testing the new concept in a secret trial store in an unmarked warehouse in California, and now they're almost ready to roll it out. Since they're also "close to signing a lease" in Times Square, expect an Apple-Disney mash-up to hit NYC sometime in the not-too-distant future.
· Discontinued: Fifth Avenue Is No Longer Where Disney Dreams Come True [Racked]
· Disney’s Retail Plan Is a Theme Park in Its Stores [NYT]